My space is defined by the words migration and continuance. I have lived “overseas” for almost a decade and I have always believed that moving out of the country was a tragic end to that part of my life. Only last year did I realize that the ending to my previous life was not as bad as I initially thought it was. With that in mind, I continued forward and faced this new chapter of my life head-on.
I have met a lot of immigrants, and now naturalized Canadians, who share the same experiences as myself. Some of them still treasure their birth country and still call it their home. I have always been wondering how they can still say that, which leads me to the question, what is home? Isn’t this place home?
I admit, the place that I currently live in is not very exciting, to say the least. The humidity during the summer and the biting cold during the winter is almost unbearable. Establishments close early. The downtown core is relatively quiet and lacks life when compared to Canada’s other major cities. The city is so small that everyone seems to know everybody and one tends to see the same faces everywhere: In the grocery aisles, in the line at coffee shops and out on the street. One acquaintance even vehemently summarized his opinion about the city. He simply said: “It sucks”.
However, I cannot deny that this small city provided me with opportunities to grow as an individual. I studied and received my academic degrees here. I had the opportunity to work and earn my own money at an early age. I learned to adapt and communicate effectively with other people from different ethnicities. I discovered how to balance my time. I went out to meet new people and gained lifelong friends. I learned to be strong and to face challenges as they come. Most important of all, I became closer to my family.
The photos I display today are a glimpse of my home, and my family. These are my memories when my family visited our month old niece when she was brought to the hospital. Regardless of how busy we are, when a relative is in dire need of help, we don’t think twice and offer assistance. These photographs that I took remember the family bonds and the home that we resided that night.
This is my home. This is my happy place.
Angela Solis is 25 and a Canadian of Filipino descent. She works at an internationally-recognized, not-for-profit organization. When not working her day job, she volunteers, reads and take photographs mostly with film. Visit her website.